SC Distributon

Chris Schlarb: Dropsy (Original Video Game Soundtrack)
MP3  $4.99    

I was five years old in 1982. I remember sitting on thick brown carpet, plugging in the joystick, and playing Yars Revenge on the Atari 2600. The music consisted of a single, oscilating drone. Thirty years later technology has granted us the wish of near-infinite possibilities: it's not uncommon for some games to feature vocal choirs and symphony orchestras. Of course, as Orson Welles famously remarked, "The enemy of art is the absence of limitations."

A few years ago my friend Jay Tholen asked me to write music for his adventure game about a mute, handless clown named Dropsy. We talked about junkyards and circus tents, we looked at photos of open country roads and graffiti and neon lights. Jay showed me his early pixel landscapes and it made me think, perhaps video games represented a type of modern folk art. He embraced the limitations of medium and created something honest and beautiful. I wanted to do the same with the soundtrack.

The themes for Dropsy were composed almost entirely on piano. After months of preparation, I booked a single, 12-hour recording session and tried to leave enough space for each musician to contribute their own voice. Everyone looked at the images Jay provided and we talked about the different locations inside the game. I can hear the subliminal influences of Joe Raposo's early music for Sesame Street in the music now. I hear the mechanical pop of Devo and the doom metal of Earth. I hear the limitations working their magic. The music is alive.

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2015-08-07
Built In Sun: Built In Sun
MP3  $8.91    

Built In Sun is a new project from Joe Plummer; drummer for The Shins, Cold War Kids and Mister Heavenly. Joe also produced and co-recorded an all drum project called Hew Time, released on Joyful Noise in 2014. Joe has also toured and recorded with Modest Mouse and The Black Heart Procession on drums and percussion over the last 10 years. Built In Sun was created during touring breaks between The Shins and Cold War Kids releases. Built in Sun began as an instrumental idea, with inspirations landing somewhere between John Cales' "Fear", the punk vibe of the Wipers and John Reis, and his favorite soundtrackists; John Brion and Clint Mansell. After the first instrumental mixes were finished (with help from Richard Swift), he decided that the melodies just might be cool enough to ask a few of his pals to sing. Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession) was the first. Within a week, Pall had added vocals to most of the tunes. The songs now felt complete, and it felt good to collaborate with Pall again. With this, "Built In Sun" was complete, and is set to be released on PIAPTK, August 7th, 2015.

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2015-06-09
J. Fernandez: Many Levels of Laughter
MP3  $8.91     CD  $12.99     LP  $16.99    

"There's a certain, undeniable feeling associated with the songwriting of J. Fernandez. There are plenty of familiar touchstones and influences deep and intricately woven; Marquee Moon guitars, an affectless, Kraftwerk-ian singing style, psychedelic dissonance and melodic structures not entirely unlike The United States of America, and a modern warmth like Chris Cohen's work with The Curtains and Deerhoof. But, dropping these names doesn't adequately sum up what J. Fernandez has captured here. On Many Levels of Laughter, he has invited us into his own, very special, Universe. One that presumably exists only in his head, or at the very least in the Chicago bedroom where he recorded the album, alone.

Giving yourself over to this record for 36-or-so minutes is a bit like agreeing to Gene Wilder's version of The Wondrous Boat Ride, you're going to experience things you don't expect. Some of it will be immediately wonderful, some of it will be confusing and magnificent. Only, instead of a nightmare-fueled, psychotropic freak-out, it feels more like a Brian Wilson daydream, magically stepping into the scraps of tape and interlude left on the cutting room floor once they finally got around to assembling SMiLE." - Mike Adams

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2015-05-12
Jad Fair & Norman Blake: Yes
MP3  $9.99     CD  $10.99     LP  $16.99    

Two legends, together again. Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake and Half Japanese's Jad Fair have teamed up to bring you their new magnum opus, "Yes". Encompassing all the songwriting eccentricities that have made these guys famous, this new collaborative album also features some of the most genteel, engagingly catchy, and downright adorable music in recent memory.

Norman Blake and Jad Fair originally collaborated over a decade ago on the Teenage Fanclub and Jad Fair album "Words of Wisdom and Hope" (Domino/Alternative Tentacles). Unlike the simple, aggressive style of Half Japanese, the 13 new tracks on "Yes" feature refined, guitar-laden power pop and saccharin-sweet melodies, accompanied by backup singers and layered horn arrangements. Fair's characteristically-manic vocal style is still present, but when coupled with the head-bopping, articulately-layered arrangements of Norman Blake, the result is a potently earnest album that is brimming with positivity.

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2015-05-12
Pfarmers: Gunnera
MP3  $6.93     LP  $16.99    

Pfarmers is the new project from Danny Seim (Menomena, Lackthereof), Bryan Devendorf (The National), and Dave Nelson (David Byrne & St. Vincent, Sufjan Stevens).

According to Seim, "The record is about a dream I had where I'm reluctantly accepting a fear of drowning by focusing on being reincarnated as a giant Gunnera plant, which thrive on the banks of rivers (specifically the Jordan River i.e. the Biblical promised land) after I paint myself gold and sink to the bottom like the El Dorado of South American folklore."

Despite the notariety of it's members, Pfarmers sounds unlike anything they've produced before. Devendorf's trademark drum style anchors everything, but now it's been filtered so heavily as to almost sound mechanical. Seim contributes his layered vocals and the deep, almost funky bass grooves, while Nelson provides complex spatial arrrangements. The result sounds like Lackthereof (Danny's solo project) as played by the Tom Tom Club through a THX soundsystem.

It's a diverse record, switching swiftly from catchy pop hooks to ambient instrumental movements. For those willing to dive in, this album is incredibly rewarding.

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2015-05-12
Surfer Blood: 1000 Palms
MP3  $9.99     CD  $12.99     LP  $16.99    

1000 Palms marks a return to Surfer Blood's DIY ethos. Abandoning the big time studio, the band decided to head back home to self-record and self-produce their third full-length album. Free of major-label-influence, Surfer Blood has delivered a uniquely compelling album, unlike anything in their catalog.

The story of 1000 Palms began on January 1st 2014, after playing a New Year's show in Portland, OR. The band decided to stick around for the rest of the month, renting a practice space and sorting through a backlog of ideas. By February, as their lease ran out, Surfer Blood had recorded demos for most of the tracks that are now featured on their third LP.

After a frustrating time at their previous home, Warner Brothers, the quartet was beyond ready to return to a more DIY recording process, completely void of the middlemen scrutinizing every bar of previous LP, Pythons. With the band self-recording, it was in the glamorous setting of an attic studio above a doctor's office where drums were committed to tape. Of the work, frontman John Paul Pitts states "fortunately none of us are strangers to DIY recording, so this seemed like the kind of challenge well-suited to our band".

The making of 1000 Palms also owes a lot to the kindness of friends and family, with the remaining instrument sessions taking place at the home of drummer Tyler Schwartz's parents, while they were on vacation. Following a few days of very little sleep and after the band pooled resources and called in favors, the band had managed to craft everything you now hear on the upcoming record.

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2015-04-14
Stranger Cat: In The Wilderness
MP3  $9.90     CD  $12.99    

Stranger Cat is the new project from Cat Martino, Sufjan Stevens' right hand woman for the Age of Adz tour and record, as well as All Delighted People. Cat was also a recording and touring member of Sharon Van Etten's band circa Epic. She appeared with The Shins on SNL and Williamsburg Park, played in Passion Pit at Governor's Ball, and sings on the Son Lux record Lanterns.

Cat retreated from Brooklyn, NY to winter in the Sierra Foothills to write and record songs emerging from loops using her voice, synths, and percussion. With her pedal chain and gear in a small cottage she explored the gamut from ethereal to turbulence. Simple melodies or beats became powerful walls of sound melting through snowstorms, howling winds and stark silence nestled inside gargantuan oaks and the infinite starry dome.

Joined by Sven Britt for a week, each of them traded making beats, or melodic parts on casios, synths, guitars, branches and spoons, while the other recorded. Out of this adventure was born "In The Wilderness", the duo's debut full-length out April 14th on Joyful Noise Recordings.

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2015-03-31
Reptar: Lurid Glow
MP3  $9.99     CD  $12.99     LP  $16.99     LP  $16.99    

Synth-pop dance party band Reptar returns with their second full length, Lurid Glow, out March 17th 2015 on Joyful Noise Recordings. Lurid Glow continues the exploratory and arousing spirit of their 2012 debut Body Faucet, 2012. Graham Ulicny (singer-guitarist), Andrew McFarland (drums), Ryan Engelberger (Bass), and William Kennedy (analog keyboards) succeed once again in bringing world dance parties into the post-rock realm. Lurid Glow continues Reptar's exploration of afro-beat indie electro-pop with a heart. While the scope of this album is broader than Body Faucet it retains the earnestness of a band just wanting to have a good time and make you feel good enough to shake your money-maker.

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2015-03-31
Yonatan Gat: Director (Coke Bottle Green Vinyl)
MP3  $9.99    

Master guitarist, Yonatan Gat (Monotonix) is back with 11 new punk inspired, improvisational, psychedelic mind melters. Recorded live by Chris Woodhouse (Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees) in less than 3 days during a US tour, the band went into the studio with just a few songs and ideas. The goal was to capture the riotous and intricate improvisations of the band's live show.

Inspired by soundtrack virtuosos like Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota, Director is edited as a cinematic circular journey around the world, East to West and North to South. This journey is interconnected by field recordings that Gat has taken during his travels, giving it a feeling of space and time. The result is a genre-bending opus that finds the band seamlessly exploring different styles of music from Brazilian psych and Afrobeat to free jazz, surf and 20th century avant-garde, sometimes in the span of just one song. Gat's wildly inventive, reverb-drenched guitar offensive takes simultaneous lead and rhythm duties, backed by Gal Lazer's hard-hitting African-inspired grooves, and Sergio Sayeg's (of Brazilian garage rockers Garotas Suecas) pumping bass.

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2015-03-31
Yonatan Gat: Director (Coke Bottle Green Vinyl)
LP  $16.99    

Master guitarist, Yonatan Gat (Monotonix) is back with 11 new punk inspired, improvisational, psychedelic mind melters. Recorded live by Chris Woodhouse (Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees) in less than 3 days during a US tour, the band went into the studio with just a few songs and ideas. The goal was to capture the riotous and intricate improvisations of the band's live show.

Inspired by soundtrack virtuosos like Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota, Director is edited as a cinematic circular journey around the world, East to West and North to South. This journey is interconnected by field recordings that Gat has taken during his travels, giving it a feeling of space and time. The result is a genre-bending opus that finds the band seamlessly exploring different styles of music from Brazilian psych and Afrobeat to free jazz, surf and 20th century avant-garde, sometimes in the span of just one song. Gat's wildly inventive, reverb-drenched guitar offensive takes simultaneous lead and rhythm duties, backed by Gal Lazer's hard-hitting African-inspired grooves, and Sergio Sayeg's (of Brazilian garage rockers Garotas Suecas) pumping bass.

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2015-02-03
Victor Villarreal: Sleep Talk
MP3  $7.92     LP  $16.99    

Best known as the pioneering guitarist behind the legendary groups Cap'n Jazz and Owls, Victor Villarreal is one of the most inventive guitarists of modern indie-rock. "Sleep Talk" is Villarreal's second proper solo effort, recorded live in the studio, with Victor simultaneously performing guitar, percussion and vocals.

Jad Fair & R. Stevie Moore: The Great American Songbook Vol. 1
MP3  $9.99    

The third part of Jad Fair's "Artist In Residency" Box Set is a playfully abrasive collaboration with lo-fi legend R. Stevie Moore. "The Great American Songbook - Vol. 1" contains 19 haphazardly-joyous experimentations, most of which clock in under the 2 minute mark. Alternating between heady-bedroom-jazz and electro-noise-collages, half of the tracks sound like they could have been recorded by innocent kindergarteners, and the other half sound like they were recorded by demented madmen.

Enlisting the help of John Dieterich (Deerhoof) and Conrad Choucroun (NRBQ), Jad Fair & R. Stevie Moore seem endlessly willing to try new ideas, and avoid pigeonholing at every turn. And out of the myriad of ideas they throw at the wall, those that stick are superbly interesting. And a little creepy.

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2014-11-11
Serengeti: Kenny Dennis III

Announcing the new album from Serengeti - Chicago rapper and Sisyphus band-member (w/ Sufjan Stevens & Son Lux). Kenny Dennis III continues the saga of 'Geti's blue-collar character, featuring sizable contributions from Anders Holm of Workaholics.

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2014-11-11
Yonatan Gat: Iberian Passage
LP  $12.99    

It should come as no surprise that after years of touring with his band Monotonix, once hailed by SPIN as the "most exciting live rock band in rock 'n' roll", that Yonatan Gat would carry that same intensity in his own act. It can only be described as "world punk".

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2014-10-14
CJ Boyd: Precariat
MP3  $5.94    

Bassist, composer, and vagabond, CJ Boyd uses low-end loops and voices in order to stop time. On perpetual tour since March 2008, movement and stasis are both at the center of his music. Utilizing only upright bass, bass guitar and voice, CJ creates a distinctive meditative atmosphere. Songs slowly build from singular, meditative bass lines into explosive, layered, and hugely complex walls of sound. The upcoming album is his first since 2012, and his finest work to date.

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2014-09-23
Ko: EP
MP3  $3.96    

Ko is the pseudonym of Kristin Newborn: vocalist, guitarist, and downright badass. From the age of 18, Kristin was classically trained by a religious cult show choir. No foolin'. But as fucked up as that experience must have been, Kristin emerged victorious. A native of Indianapolis by way of Los Angeles, Kristin first began writing under the name Ko in the spring of 2012, after the demise of her first group Slothpop. Shortly thereafter she enlisted Todd Heaton to play percussion for the live shows and later recordings. Ko's debut EP contains 4 songs of intricate vocal looping, heartfelt purpose, and plenty of Danelectro wall-of-sound-fuzz to boot.

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2014-09-02
Half Japanese: Overjoyed
MP3  $9.99     CD  $12.99     LP  $15.99    

Announcing "Overjoyed", the first album in 13 years from legendary punk band Half Japanese. One of the most influential bands of all time, Jad Fair and Half Japanese spearheaded the DIY and Lo-Fi movements, influencing countless bands such as Sonic Youth, Neutral Milk Hotel, Daniel Johnston, and perhaps most notably, Kurt Cobain (who ranked Half Japanese amongst his top 50 favorites, had them open the "In Utero" tour, and was wearing their t-shirt when he died). Without exaggeration, Half Japanese is one of the most important bands in the history of music. "Overjoyed" was recorded and produced by John Dieterich of Deerhoof, and ranks amongst the best albums of the band's catalog.

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2014-08-19
Sleeping Bag: Deep Sleep
MP3  $9.90     CD  $12.99     LP  $15.99    

Sleeping Bag sounds different, you guys. On their third LP, "Deep Sleep", Dave Segedy (the group's drummer, songwriter and primary vocalist) has taken the band into heavier, more epic territory. The sunny jangling guitars and fun whistle choruses are gone; obliterated in a full on fuzz-guitar assault. Dave sings, "I want to free the dog that I am." and he means it.

Segedy's signature pop songwriting style is still in full effect, now brought to life by guitarist Tyler Smith and bassist Glenn Meyers. Tracks like "Hush" and "Wrestle" exemplify Sleeping Bag's honest, bedroom-pop approach and Malkmus-deadpan vocal delivery, but compared to the sunny disposition of the previous records "Deep Sleep" sounds downright tuff. Drenched in distortion & reverb, the album culminates with the nine-minute closer, "The Portal" - an epic shred-fest, equal parts My Bloody Valentine & Weezer "Only In Dreams". It's quite an affair.

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2014-08-05
Divorcee: Divorcee
MP3  $6.93    

Introducing: Divorcee, the new project from Yoni Wolf and his ex-girlfriend Anna Stewart. With their self-titled debut EP, the WHY? frontman steps out of the spotlight to craft all the music himself, while Stewart sets her brutally honest lyrics to each song.

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2014-06-10
Memory Map: The Sky as Well as Space
MP3  $9.99     LP  $15.99    

We last heard from the boys in Memory Map with the release of their 2011 debut LP "Holiday Band". We couldn't be more excited to see them return with the release of their sophomore album "The Sky As Well As Space" on 6/10/14.

With "The Sky as Well as Space", Memory Map continue to flesh out their uniquely guitar-driven blend of indie pop. Few bands straddle song-craft and technical prowess as effortlessly as Memory Map. Using three guitars (one which cheats its way into acting as a bass), a three-piece drum kit, and vocals from all four members, Memory Map organically fuse cascading guitar lines, complex rhythms, and layered vocal harmonies into shamelessly accessible guitar pop.

In the three years since their debut, Memory Map have gained depth both in composition and production. The album simultaneously showcases the band at their most catchy ("Magnetic Center"), menacing ("Dark Freshman"), and emotional ("Order In the Waves", "Antelope Earth").

Why the three-year gap between albums you ask? Well, the delay is largely due to the popularity of a certain cat. Band member Mike Bridavsky owns and takes care of the most famous cat on the planet, Lil BUB. And because Memory Map have been so flexible in working around Lil BUB's schedule, the band is officially BUB approved.